LOS ANGELES Nov 14 A new book by Pulitzer
Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright about the Church of
Scientology will hit retailers on Jan. 17, publisher Alfred A.
Knopf said on Wednesday.
"Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of
Belief," will tackle the church's finances among other topics,
Knopf said. It is the culmination of three years of research by
Wright into the church that counts several Hollywood stars among
Wright will examine the church's founder, science-fiction
novelist L. Ron Hubbard and its relationship with celebrities
Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
"Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new
religions that have arisen in the 20th century," Wright said in
"I was drawn to write this book by the questions many people
have about Scientology," Wright added. "What is it that makes
this religion alluring? What do its adherents get out of it? How
can rational-seeming people subscribe to beliefs that others
find incomprehensible? Why do popular personalities associate
themselves with a faith that is likely to create public
A portion of the book was published in The New Yorker
magazine in 2010 and was based in part on interviews with
"Crash" director Paul Haggis, who recently left the church.
A first printing of 150,000 was ordered, the publisher said.
Wright, 63, won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2006 book "The
Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11."
(Reporting By Eric Kelsey, editing by Jill Serjeant and Andrew